Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Top 12 Best Articles I Wrote for the Fed

Okay, so I'm lazy and feel like recycling some material I already wrote a long time ago.  This was mostly inspired by the fact that I wrote a comedy article for the Blue and White/Bwog that I thought turned out decently well, and I was reminded of a time when I wrote a lot more comedy articles.  And yeah, this is a bunch of navel-gazing, but whatever, my navel is pretty.

(NOTE: This is going to be a long note.  Part of the reason I wanted to mention the Blue and White article is that based on the comments, at least a few people seem to think that it sucks/isn't funny.  It's hard to tell, of course, since people have stronger negative reactions than they have positive reactions--that's just the way we're built--but I do actually think that anonymous slams are kind of useful, and if you thought the article was a waste of time and unfunny, I'm sorry, and I'm glad you posted and gave your opinion.  I think the idea that "all critics should be creators" or "if you can't do better, don't criticize" is basically grade-A idiocy, because by writing and publishing anything at all, you are also making an implicit statement that it deserves to be read.  Ergo, if you spend five minutes reading something and feel like your time was wasted, well, your time WAS wasted by the author, who put it out there in the first place.  Also, the argument of "if you don't like it, don't read it" is dumb as disabled rocks for obvious reasons--how would you know if you'll like it until you read it?  Anyway, for as much as I hate the internet sometimes, I do like the fact that you can get unfiltered feedback, so that way I can learn that not a ton of people enjoy Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart-style written articles as much as I do.  Or just not that one.  For the record, I thought the article was pretty funny, though.  You dick.)

So, here are my favorite Fed articles of my own, out of the thirty or so I've written:

This is the one I was on the edge about including and almost didn't, so I'll make it last.  Here is why: I think 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 on that are really funny.  I think the rest aren't.  I should've just made it a ten-year-old reviews "some" movies on IMDb and chosen other classics that I could make good jokes about to fill it out.

I think overanalysis is really funny, but I rarely think that I have a good enough comedic concept to make it work.  I like this article--and I especially like that the combinatorics are right, I'm pretty sure--but at the same time I feel like it's not at all funny to people who a) don't flip out at the jerks who take all the berries from the fruit salad ('cuz I do) and b) don't like math a lot (I do).  Anyway, overall I'm happy with it because I think it has a markedly different feel than any other article I've written, but runs in that direction in a funny way.

When I wrote this, I definitely remember feeling like it was one of the best articles I had written.   It's a little worse for time ("My Humps" jokes...and an article that is one massive "My Humps" joke...are pretty dated), but I think it's really good concept and execution of something entirely pop-culture based.

During the summer between my freshman and sophomore year, I wrote a ton of Onion-style fake-news articles about Columbia, and I think almost all of them are some of my best stuff, probably because I had so long to edit and rearrange them.  Anyway, I published them at intervals throughout the year, and this was one of the later ones, I think.  A few people have called me on this article basically being a thinly-veiled parody of myself.  They're right.

This is another one of my Onion-style articles, and it was basically my attempt to do the darker satire that the Onion does with global issues with a local issue and people who think art has the purpose of changing the world.  I thought it came out well, if a little dependent on "hehehehe liberals get stoned."

This was actually the second article I ever wrote for The Fed, and I think it was one of the best.  I was a little annoyed with school and stuff at the time, I think (though I'm very happy here now thanks for asking!!!), and reading it now I think the rage channeled turned out to be definitely funny rage instead of just rage.  I couldn't have gone on writing all of my articles in that voice--that would have gotten old fast--but I'm glad I came in and hit one hard early on.  Actually, the idea of being tired of that angry voice (which is kind of a voice that comes through in The Fed in general and can get pretty grating when reading an entire issue) is the reason I decided to write a bunch of Onion-style articles.

OH!  One other thing.  I wrote a ton of points for this article, and cut a lot of them down, and there are a couple I still have somewhere because I really liked them even though I had to cut 'em (read the article first to get the idea):

Struggle to inform the citizenry about the government brainwashing them, then fail to notice the irony as you take many, many mind-altering drugs.

Brainwash people.

I just like this one because it's tight.  Very basic, setups and punchlines, but the punchlines are good.

Maybe it's cheating to include this, since most of the funny was brought by Jon Voight, but this was just absurdly entertaining to do.  Many thanks to Kareem Shaya, then editor-in-chief of finding out that Jon Voight was in town to be interviewed on WKCR, after which I swooped in and took him for 20-30 minutes or so, which was fun as hell, especially because I was, in retrospect, pretty ballsy and out-there with my questions (YEAH THAT'S RIGHT I'M COOL).

This was the first and probably last interview with a celebrity I've ever done. I'm pretty happy with it, since I got Jon Voight to say "I'm crazy about babies."  I have it recorded somewhere, too.

(Oh, and for the record, I didn't ask anything about Angelina because I was told not to.)

I'm really happy with this one.  It's a little tought to take on something as tired of a concept as "Columbia's football team is bad" and make it funny, and I really think I did.  The development of the article is, I think, really just gets more and more absurd every paragraph, but still probably without providing you with some way you can refute it as truth.  Why isn't this one higher?  Oh, right, becuase I'm fucking hilarious and have written three articles even funnier.

Aping another Onion idea, that of fake point-counterpoints (especially the way that the first one is often relatively reasonable and realistic, and the second one totally impossible to actually end up in article form).  This one got reprinted in at least one orientation issue, so other Fed people apparently liked it, and that's good.  It's funny.  Roommate drama is funny.  I don't have much else to say about this.

There are actually a lot of similarities between part two of that Point-Counterpoint article and this entire one.  I guess I just think that stream-of-consciousness is really funny.  This article probably got more personal compliments from other people than any other one did.  And yeah, it's real.  I thought this whole thing basically verbatim in a few minutes at work.

I put more time into this article than I have into any other I've written, and it shows.  Honestly, I'm so willing to openly brag about this.  Read everything on all the sidebars to see how much time I DID put into it.  There was a lot of attention to detail, and the Feddies who helped me with the look of the layout (mostly Russ and Arnold, if I recall correclty) are great.  It looks just like the Bwog, and I think it reads an awful lot like the Bwog, except you're supposed to laugh at everything ABOUT it instead of WITH it.

What can I say?  Mom was wrong: it's better laugh at people than with them.

1 comment:

Kareem Shaya said...

"Spoon This Fruit" simply has to be higher up on the list.